I finally got a real stove. It’s installed and all. My parents last christmas (or perhaps my birthday) offered to give me a stove. I did research looking for the one I wanted before and after that. I wanted a 20″, or at least 24″, but those weren’t offered locally. I also wanted a cooktop, but couldn’t find one of those online in the 20″ width. I was a little leary of getting the stove delivered anyway. I finally realized that to get a good stove with the narrow width, I’d have to get a range. The Sharp microwave/oven I had gotten just didn’t work as well as I’d hoped as a real oven anyway. I found one I liked on some websites, but didn’t order it, just bookmarked it. It was an Avanti. It had the electric ignition (no energy lost to pilot, though I was hoping for piezo) with sealed burners (much easier cleaning). I eventually went with the more expensive one with stainless steel and an oven window, since I found it so close to the price of the cheapest one when shipping was included.
I didn’t do anything about it, partly out of laziness, and partly because of other projects. I finally decided it was time to stop using the electric hot plate and old camp stove. The hot plate was thermostatically controlled, but had a very wide swinging method of getting at the temperature it was set at. On simmer, it would go all the way up to full blast, red hot for a bit, then swing back down to too cold to cook anything, and stay that way for several minutes before going back up again. This made for a very slow process of cooking food that could easily include burning it if I wasn’t there to shut off the heat when it got too hot. The camp stove was rather unstable, and every time I’d touch the pan, I’d have to hold it to prevent it from sliding. The flame would frequently go out if at a simmer setting, so I couldn’t keep it very low. The flame was also very small in comparison to the size of the pot over it, so it would often burn a very small clump of food to the center of the pan.
I had to stay home the whole day they were expected to deliver the stove (a nice 7 hour window). Of course, it didn’t come till near the end of the day. I had borrowed the hand truck my Mom had newly acquired in case the guy’d just leave it in the yard and go, but luckily he helped me carry it inside. My dad helped me saw out the counter area it was to go. I had to switch the thing to LP, which involved putting in different sized gas orifices, flipping over a spacer bolt in the regulator, and tightening some screws for each knob. It was a bit of a pain, and I had to wait to finish because I needed a mini screwdriver for the knob screws. I managed to slice my finger pretty good when pulling off the knob panel for the second time: I pulled on it from the back, and the metal edge went right into my finger. Then I installed the gas line (luckily there was a line there for that purpose). I also set in 2×4 runners to raise it up a bit, to be level with the countertop. It fit in mostly nicely, though there is still a little lip where the counter goes above it near the back. My kitchen looks nicer and more like a real kitchen with it.
I got to finally use it after figuring out that there was a valve underneath the house that was closed. I made spaghetti. It started right up. It is definately easier to use than my old tools, and lowers my cooktimes. I don’t much like the burner setup. It has one powerful burner, two regular, and one simmer. The two regular are in the back, though those would otherwise be the ones I’d use most often. I’ll just have to live with it though. One of the burners’ knobs doesn’t activate the spark ignition, so I may have to take off the panel again to see if I can fix that.
I haven’t tried the oven yet.